Liverpool to keep Suarez: The Daily Mirror reports that Suarez has told a high-profile Latin American journalist he will not leave Liverpool. The journo, Martin Chaquero, said that it is "likely" Suarez will sign an extension to his current contract at Anfield, despite having agitated for a move to Arsenal all summer long.
Paper Round's view: By all accounts, this is a journalist of some repute and his words should not be taken lightly. Perhaps Suarez has finally realised that he cannot force a move through if the club digs in their heels - as John W Henry indicated last week. Let's hope if he does pen a new deal with Liverpool, there is somewhat more clarity over certain clauses contained within.
United will not sell Rooney to Chelsea: A Guardian exclusive claims that United have taken a "top-level" decision that Rooney will not be sold to Chelsea, "no matter how much money is offered or whatever the potential risks of keeping an unhappy player". The report adds that the hard-line stance is irreversible and that even if Rooney hands in a transfer request or goes public with his desire to quit Old Trafford, the club will keep him. Manager David Moyes will ask United fans to recognise Rooney's contribution over the last nine years and refrain from making their displeasure known when he returns to the team, the paper says.
Paper Round's view: The Guardian is usually a reliable source, so if this is true, are we witnessing the beginning of the demise of player power? With Rooney and Suarez both frustrated in their efforts to leave their respective clubs, perhaps those reports last week of the Glazer family and Liverpool's American owners teaming up to make a stand against contract-breaking players were indeed on the money.
- - -
Arsenal turn attentions away from Suarez: The Daily Mirror report that given Arsenal's difficulty in landing Suarez, Arsene Wenger has begun to draw up a Plan B. That plan includes Swansea striker Michu and Edin Dzeko of Manchester City. The paper claims the Gunners may revisit an interest in the Spanish striker and that Wenger would move for Dzeko, "given any encouragement".
Paper Round's view: With his bid for Suarez apparently doomed, Wenger must now move quickly before the transfer window shuts. And while neither Michu nor Dzeko are the big-money signings Arsenal promised fans at the beginning of the summer, both appear attainable, Michu for the lure of Champions League football, and Dzeko for regular football.
- - -
Chelsea seriously consider Eto'o swoop: Chelsea are hoping to sign a new striker in the next few days and, given it probably won't be Rooney, they are "seriously pursuing" the option of Samuel Eto'o, reports the Guardian. The former Internazionale player said yesterday he would like to link up with former boss Jose Mourinho again and he would be available from Anzhi Makhachkala for around £5m, the paper claims.
Paper Round's view: Eto'o may be 32 but Mourinho would surely be able to squeeze at least a season or two out of him. And considering that kind of price is small change for Chelsea, this could be a shrewd move for the Blues - and a great one for Eto'o.
- - -
Liverpool set to bid for Willian: Liverpool are ready to take advantage of Anzhi Makhachkala's fire sale by bidding for Brazil playmaker Willian, the Daily Mail reports. The Reds are yet to make a marquee signing this summer after missing out on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Diego Costa but are keen to rectify that with the £35m signing of Willian. Tottenham are also in the hunt, the paper adds.
Paper Round's view: Willian is certainly available after Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov decided to put his entire team up for sale, and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been told he can make one big signing this summer, regardless of whether Suarez goes. The sale of Stewart Downing to West Ham for £5m can only help boost his spending power too.
- - -
City to make final bid for Pepe: Manchester City are to make a final attempt to sign Real Madrid defender Pepe, reports the Daily Mail. With Matija Nastasic ruled out for the first month of the Premier League campaign, Manuel Pellegrini is desperate to bolster his defence before the new season starts. Real have already rejected a £15m bid from City last month but Pellegrini is hopeful an improved offer in excess of £20m may convince Real to change their mind.
Paper Round's view: Over £20m for a player who turned 30 in February might seem like a lot of money, but City really are desperate to shore up their back line, having shipped eight goals in their last three pre-season games. And if immediate impact is needed, then Pepe is probably a better bet than either Kyriakos Papadopoulos or Paolo Cannavaro.
- - -